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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

THE BROADENING OF HUMANISM         231

object to the pagan element in the classics, but most of them found
it easy to reconcile themselves to the established practice by
regarding the ancient languages as an aid to piety. This view
showed itself most plainly in the characterization of Latin, Greek,
and Hebrew as " holy languages," and in the occasional use of
the New Testament in beginning the study of Latin and Greek.

But though the schools and universities settled down into an
educational orthodoxy with all the powers of law and scholastic
tradition behind it, there were great social and intellectual forces
at work outside them making for progress ; and before long the
movement towards the broadening of education which had been
interrupted by the Reformation made a fresh beginning. The
chief impetus to reform came from the rise of a new nobility under
Tudor auspices, many of whom had won their place by their
personal energy and gifts. This noble class had no great interest
in the scholarly studies of the schools, but they were quick to
realize the importance of the kind of education that would make
them more efficient in their station, and were willing to try the
subjects likely to help them to achieve their ambitions. They
were led in this way to take up the study of the various arts and
sciences that had a bearing on practical life—both old subjects like
arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music, which had got fresh
value with the advance of learning, and new subjects of obvious
utility like French and Italian, chemistry, painting, etc.—and, above
all, the physical exercises that would fit them for the activities of
peace and war. This course was the easier to take because it had
already been taken by Italian youth of the same social standing,
and was to be found set forth explicitly in books like the Courtier
(of which book Hoby's translation had appeared in 1561), or,
better still, perhaps, could be followed at first hand in Italy itself.

It must not be thought, however, that this movement drew all
its inspiration from the Continent. There were, no doubt, some
" Italianate " Englishmen who despised English ways. But with
national pride running high in the spacious days of Queen
Elizabeth such men were the exceptions. The young English
gentleman was generally a good patriot, and would have said with
Mulcaster: "I love Rome, but London better. I favour Italy,
but England more. I know the Latin, but worship the English."
One proof of that was the growing appreciation of the English
language as a means of expression on all manner of subjects.